Notes from Show #39 - Things You
Should Not Bring On Board


Overview

Title: Things You Should Not Bring On Board - 13 February 2008
Date: 13 February 2008;  Length: 6:27

In this show, Dr. Todd Curtis provides passengers with an overview what is allowed and not allowed either in carry on or checked baggage, and he also provides insights into how to avoid the most common airport security hassles. You can listen to or watch the podcast at the following links:
Audio: MP3 | VideoiPod/MP4 | WMV | Google Video | YouTube

Things You Should Not Bring on Board


Related Resources:
Prohibited and Restricted Baggage Items
Advice for Checked and Carryon Baggage
FlightsGoneBad.com


Podcast Timeline

0:00: Introduction

0:30: The dos and don'ts of air travel

0:57: Confusing variations of the rules on restricted and prohibited items

1:51: Why knowing about TSA rules will help you in any part of the world

2:22: Think before you pack and you can avoid most security problems

2:46: Special issues with liquids, gels, and aerosols

3:32: Items that should never be taken on board the aircraft

4:00: Items that can only be carried in checked baggage

4:38: Items that should always be in carry on baggage

5:18: Reasons to pack light and avoid checked bags

5:48: Additional security and baggage resources

6:20: Credits and copyright information


Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Conversation at AirSafe.com, I'm your host Dr. Todd Curtis, the creator of AirSafe.com, your reliable source of airline safety and security information since 1996

This is show #39 - Things You Should Not Bring on Board: Advice on What to Pack and How to Pack.

In this Conversation, I'd like to give you some basic advice that will help you to get through airport security with a minimum of hassle. Airline security is a serious issue both in the US and around the world. For the average traveler, it is easy to understand some of the obvious dos and don'ts of air travel.

For example, the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, does not allow guns, ammunition, or knives in the passenger cabin. But at the same time, these and other items that are banned from the passenger cabin and from the secure portion of the airport terminal, can in fact may be carried in your checked baggage.

There are also many other rules, and sometimes almost just as many exceptions to those rules. It's therefore no surprise that the average passenger can get confused. For example, all of the following situations are currently true in the US:

  • Some items are allowed in both carry on and checked bags.
  • Some items are allowed only in checked bags.
  • Some items not allowed on the plane at all.
  • Some items are not allowed to go through the TSA screening areas, but can be purchased in the secure area of the terminal and taken on the plane.

There are exceptions to some of these rules, especially when it comes to liquids and gels. All of these rules are subject to change, and often these changes are not well publicized. Probably the most frustrating thing is that the final decision on what is allowed on the plane is often in the hands of the TSA, so any screener can make a judgment call and confiscate some of your belongings just when you are about catch your plane.

This show won't cover all aspects of the TSA's rules, but it will give you enough information to allow you to avoid most potential problems.

The security policies in the US are often similar to policies elsewhere in the world, so even though this show is about US rules, the information may be very useful to you wherever you fly.

Not knowing the rules can get you in trouble or can lead to loss of your items, or can lead to a missed flight due to security delays

Knowing a few basics, and knowing where you can go for help, can make your airline security experience a lot less stressful. The best advice I can give you is to think before your pack.

If you take the time to think about what you need for your trip, you can avoid many potential security problems.

Keep in mind that liquids, aerosols, and gels have extra rules. You should also avoid packing items that are always banned from any part of the aircraft.

When in doubt, take the time to figure out whether you are allowed to carry an item in checked bags or carry on bags. Since 2006, liquids, gels, and aerosols have been a particular security concern.

The rules are tightest at the screening gate, and are meant to limit the amount of liquids a passenger can have in carry on baggage.

There are many exceptions to these limitations, especially for medically related items.

These rules can cost you quite a bit of money if you have to surrender expensive liquid items like alcohol and perfume, two of the more popular duty-free items on international flights.

You can avoid most problems associated with liquids, gels, and aerosols by either not taking them through security, or by taking the time to first understand the rules. For further details, please visit tsa.airsafe.com. This page will link you to information on how to travel with these items. Obvious items like explosives, flammables, and undeclared hazardous materials should not go on board the aircraft at all.

It should also be obvious that if it is illegal to posses an item, you shouldn't be carrying it on the airplane.

Other items are not so obvious, such as items that may be banned or restricted not by the TSA, but by either the airline or by local authorities. If you have any doubts, the best thing to do would be to consult additional resources like the airline, local law enforcement, or the TSA.

Obvious items like explosives, flammables, and undeclared hazardous materials should not go on board the aircraft at all.

It should also be obvious that if it is illegal to posses an item, you shouldn't be carrying it on the airplane.

Other items are not so obvious, such as items that may be banned or restricted not by the TSA, but by either the airline or by local authorities. If you have any doubts, the best thing to do would be to consult additional resources like the airline, local law enforcement, or the TSA. There are a wide range of things that are banned from the cabin, but that can go into checked bags. These include bats, golf clubs, and other sporting goods; guns and other weapons, some kinds of ammunition, and most large hand tools.

For some items like weapons and ammunition, you should check with the airline to see if they allow them, and also to see what the requirements are for packing these items. Also, larger capacity containers for liquids, gels, and aerosols that are not in a high pressure container can generally go into checked baggage.

When in doubt, check with your airline or visit tsa.airsafe.com for more information. Critical or essential personal items such as medical items and eyeglasses should never go into checked baggage. You should also keep on your person or in your carry on bags valuables such as cash other financial instruments, jewelery, film, laptop computers, and personal electronics.

Valuable items like these should not be checked because the airline is not obligated to pay you anything if they are lost, stolen, delayed, or damaged.

If you'll be away from home for a few days, you may want to keep at least a day's worth of clothing and personal items in your carry ons to allow you to deal with delayed or stolen checked baggage.

You may also consider avoiding security or baggage hassles by buying items at your destination. There are several advantages to packing light, meaning not taking anything you don't need and not having any checked bags:

  • Checked bags and their contents are at a much higher risk of being lost or stolen.
  • If the TSA inspects the contents your carry ons, at least you'll be nearby, but checked bags can be inspected without your knowledge.
  • In the event of flight delays or cancellations, it'll be easier to rearrange your flights if you don't have to deal with checked bags.
  • Another advantage of not having checked bags is that many airlines allow you to check in online, print your boarding pass ahead of time, and go straight to the gate.

This show only gave you an overview of the current security rules and suggestions for how to avoid problems. If you go to tsa.airsafe.com, you'll find many more resources, including extensive information on current TSA rules, advice on packing, advice on traveling with duty free items such as alcohol and perfume, links to airline complaint resources, and links to other airline passenger resources.

That address once again is tsa.airsafe.com

Thanks for listening, and I'll see you next time.


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Notes from Show #39, an Update of the Things You Should not Bring On Board an Aircraft
http://www.airsafe.com/podcasts/show39.htm -- Revised: 12 January 2011